by: Drabslab [ ]
IntroductionFlightpath A.10 Mechanised Ammunition Loader with Ammunition Cart is a 1/48 scale multi-media kit.
I am very fond of the Fairchild A.10 ever since I read a two-paragraph article in a local Belgian newspaper somewhere in the late 1970ies stating that this extremely ugly plane was specially designed to make toast of the thousands of Soviet Tanks that were threatening western Europe. Itís nickname, the warthog underlined that ugliness. Core to that immense potential was itís 30 mm GAU-8 cannon.
Today, that A.10 and its gun have become a living myth. My personal plans for building a diorama of a European theater lizard scheme A.10 being loaded with ordnance is somewhat mythical as well. It never happened but recently, when ordering something else at Hannants I found this little Flightpath kit that sparked the idea again. And as I can resist anything but temptation Ö
The boxThe box is small and sturdy and no effort is wasted on box art. A simple paper glued to the box tells you what is inside, period.
Still, once open, there is a surprise in the fact that the box is completely packed with metal casts, photo-etch and some low-quality photocopies that make up the instruction sheet.
The box contains parts for making two different assemblies:
ē A cart carrying ammunition boxes for the 30mm gun of the A.10
ē The ammunition loader itself
The casted metal partsThe casted parts look very detailed and a first dry-fit did not reveal any problems. I donít expect any problem with these parts.
The photo-etchThe photo etch is very nice but looks also extremely fragile. Some of the sheets were already slightly bent in the box.
It appears that I will need to solder these parts together, glue will probably make a total mess of things. I also expect that I should strengthen the assemblies in invisible places with extra plastic to come to a more solid end result.
Instruction sheetThe instruction sheets donít give much confidence. About 13 photo copies with a few drawings where the different parts belong, a text giving some extra indications and some photos of the real thingÖ thatís it.
Considering that this kit must be assembled by soldering or with super glue, there is not much space for errors as these will be difficult to correct, not in the least because of the fragility of the photo etch.
The painting instructions are very simple: there are none (unless I could not find them while they were glaring in my face.
Next to the documentation that comes with the kit, it will take some researching of web sources to become a correct result. Luckily, there are several very useful videos on Youtube showing the complete sequence of ammo loading on real A.10 where the cart and loader are very prominently pictured.
ConclusionThis seems NOT an easy kit to build. It came on the market in 2004 and is still available but I could not find any other review of this kit, nor could I find any diorama where this kit was used.
Maybe the general reluctance of aircraft modellers to build dioramaís is more to blame for this than the challenge to build this ammo loader. It is somewhere a pity that this way, Flightpath is not getting the return it deserves for engineering such niche product.
It may, if all goes well, become a very nice addition to any 1/48 scale A.10 diorama but the modeller will need fine skills in manipulating fragile photo etch parts.